Dan Brown's 'Inferno': Will its sales live up to his previous books?(Read article summary)
Dan Brown's new novel, 'Inferno,' will star protagonist Robert Langdon and focus on Dante's 14th-century epic poem of the same name.
Talk about blazing hot.
Weâ€™re not just talking about Dan Brownâ€™s forthcoming novel, â€śInferno,â€ť the authorâ€™s fourth and highly anticipated book in the Robert Langdon series â€“ weâ€™re also talking about its sales, which are expected to be smoldering.Â
â€śThis should be the fastest and biggest selling novel of the year â€“ it's hard to see how anything could beat it,â€ť said Chris White, a fiction buyer for the UKâ€™s Waterstones chain, according to media reports. â€śIt'll be a huge hit now and throughout the summer, then see another peak at Christmas. It could well be No 1 on 25th December.â€ť
If Brownâ€™s previous novel sales are any indication, thatâ€™s not hyperbole.
Since its 2003 publication, the â€śDa Vinci Code,â€ť the second novel in the Robert Langdon series, has sold 80 million copies, spent more than a year atop the New York Times bestseller list, and was made into a hit movie starring Tom Hanks. â€śThe Lost Symbol,â€ť Brownâ€™s most recent work, sold more than half a million copies in its first week on sale in 2009.
Though it hasnâ€™t yet been released as of Monday, â€śInfernoâ€ť is already No. 1 on Amazonâ€™s Best Sellers list. Its hardback and Kindle editions are also in first and second place on its preorder chart. UK bookseller Waterstones told the Guardian that â€śInfernoâ€ť received the largest level of customer pre-orders since JK Rowlingâ€™s â€śThe Casual Vacancy.â€ť
(And, as the UKâ€™s Independent pointed out, â€śIt has already had the honor of dragging its Medieval namesake, the 14th-century Italian poem by Dante Alighieri, to the top of Waterstonesâ€™ poetry bestseller list â€“ whether because people are interested in the new novelâ€™s origin, or by mistake it is not clear.â€ť)
All this in spite of minimal information about the actual book, much of which has remained a secret.
What we know: The book again stars Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon as he takes â€śa journey deep into [the] mysterious realmâ€ť of Danteâ€™s Inferno in Florence, according to the sole interview Brown gave to the UKâ€™s Sunday Times ahead of the novelâ€™s publication. He also promised this would be â€śthe darkest novel yet.â€ťÂ
The subject, Brown told the Sunday Times, â€śis so vibrant and so horrifying that it does a lot of the work for me. I'm not writing about the masons and ancient histories, which is kind of ethereal. I'm writing about Dante's vision of hell.
â€śIt wasn't until the 1300s and this version of Inferno that it became terrifying. Dante has had enormous influence on the Christian view of hell.â€ťÂ
Which, apparently, spurs sizzling sales in the 2010s.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.